by Driouich J-S, Cochin M, Touret F, Petit P-R, Gilles M, Moureau G, Barthélémy K, Laprie C, Wattanakul T, Chotsiri P, Hoglund RM, Tarning J, Fraisse L, Sjö P, Mowbray CE, Escudié F, Scandale I, Chatelain E, de Lamballerie X, Solas C, Nougairède A. eBioMedicine 2022; 82:104148
Summary: Numerous human clinical trials investigating the efficacy and safety of oral nitazoxanide for SARS-CoV-2 are have been started worldwide, despite limited pre-clinical evidence of antiviral efficacy. The authors present a complete pre-clinical evaluation of the antiviral activity of nitazoxanide against SARS-CoV-2. They confirmed the in vitro efficacy of nitazoxanide and its active metabolite tizoxanide against SARS-CoV-2, and nitazoxanide activity in a reconstructed bronchial human airway epithelium model. However, in an in vivo model, oral and intranasal treatment with nitazoxanide failed to impair viral replication in commonly affected organs, potentially due to insufficient diffusion. These preclinical results suggest that the standard formulation and dosage of nitazoxanide is not effective in providing antiviral therapy for Covid-19.